Little v. Alexander
88 U.S. 500 (1874)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Little v. Alexander, 88 U.S. 21 Wall. 500 500 (1874)

Little v. Alexander

88 U.S. (21 Wall.) 500

Syllabus

1. When the issue to be decided is whether a judgment against an insolvent was obtained with a view to give a preference, the intention of the bankrupt is the turning point of the case, and all the circumstances which go to show such intent should be considered.

2. Hence, when an ordinance of a state gave a preference as to time of trial in the courts in suits on debts contracted after a certain date, and the insolvent debtor gave his son and niece new notes for an old debt, so as to enable them to procure judgments before his other creditors, the fact that the ordinance was void does not repel the inference of intent to give and obtain a preference, and when a judgment was so obtained which gave priority of lien, it will to that extent be null and void,

Little, as assignee in bankruptcy of J. R. Alexander, the father, filed a bill against T. L. Alexander, the son, to have

Page 88 U. S. 501

certain real estate of the bankrupt, the father, and which had come as part of his assets to the complainant as assignee, relieved from the apparent encumbrance of a judgment which the son had got against it, the father having made no opposition to the obtaining of the judgment.

The court below dismissed the bill, and the assignee in bankruptcy took this appeal.

The judgment was docketed on the 19th day of May, 1869, and on the 1st day of September, within less than four months thereafter, the petition was filed on which the defendant was declared bankrupt.

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